Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Bunyan-Burrough Debate > Burrough, Truth Witnessed Forth [1 of 3]
|THOU hast here a very great number of * Lyes and Slanders, and Unjust-dealings and False-doctrines, &c. Laid open and reproved in plainness, and not in hypocrisie; and of contention there is not suddenly an end, being begun; therefore seeing the unbelieving heart of John Bunion cannot believe me, when I speak the truth in justness, nor may I believe his Lies and Slanders, uttered in hypocrisie; what is laid down is left to thee, soberly to judge of betwixt us, while we are both silent: And this know, the one is a Deceiver; and the other is as a Deceiver, yet true; and thus mayst thou weigh things equally.||* About a 100 or more as may be proved in-particular if need require.|
First, considering of many Lyes and Slanders truly charged upon him in my first, of which he is guilty from his first, and he hath not at all cleared himself of them in his second, which an honest man ought to have done, before he had gone further; for I soberly desired witness of what he said: But he hath added to the number of his wickedness, and not proved justly what he hath said against us: And it is not for his sake, for little hopes I have of his conversion, but the rather that he will be hardned; nor for my own sake, as if I were unsatisfied concerning him, that this is written; but to undeceive the simple of what his wickedness may falsly suggest into the mind, as if all were truth that he spoke, if his wickedness were not reproved.
Again, Consider that I have cleared the Truth of my words which he hath wrested, and thereby taken occasion against the Truth, by answering his own conceptions, and not my plain words; so my words (which are words of Truth) being defended, all his Reply is made void: So I have not so much desired to answer every particular of his words, as to vindicate my own words, and the Truth from his false Slanders and Accusations.
London, 12. month, 1656.
O HOW hath Satan filled the hearts of men, in this Generation (as well as in former Ages) with Envy against the Truth, and with Wrath against the Way thereof; and how hath he filled them with Craft, and deceitful Subtilty, to offend the Way of the Lord, in all manner of Persecuting, and Evil-speaking against it openly, and also in secret Gainsayings, in Hypocrisie; and how are men armed to defend themselves in their naughtiness, lying hid under the Vail of fair Speeches, and fine Arguments, using the Scripture in the words of mans wisdom, to oppose the Power and Life of Righteousness; even as the Scribes and Pharisees of old, how zealous were they in their Observances, and in fullfilling the Commands and Traditions of their Fathers, having set themselves in Moses Seat, professing Moses, and the Prophets words, and yet persecuted Christ the Life and Substance of Moses, and the Prophets? And as it was then, so is it now; how are Christs words, and the Apostles professed and preached by such who are Enemies to the Life of Christ made manifest in mortall flesh, and secretly opposing the doctrine of the Apostles? who said, Know ye not, that Christ is within you, except you be Reprobates. But the mighty Day of the Lord is come, and coming, wherein all hearts are made manifest, and the secrets thereof discovered; and the light is springing out of darkness, and the Sun is breaking thorow the Clouds to give light to all men and Nations, and the great Whore which hath decked her self in diverse colours to deceive, shall be made naked and bare; and the day of great striving is come, and now every man stands up for his Interest, to defend his Possession, for the Just Judge standeth at the Door, to enquire by what Law every man holds his Inheritance; and he findeth many holding their Religion; and Profession, by the Traditions of men only, and not by the Revelation of Christ Jesus in them; and such he will dispossess, though they strive against him, yet all is in vain, and though they plead Antiquity, yet that will not prevail; and in that the day of great striving is come, betwixt the Lamb and his Followers, and the Draggon and his Followers; every one of that Party appearing with such weapons as the Devil hath armed them withal; and with such Armour as the wicked hath, they come, appearing under divers colours to fight against Zion, yet under one Head, and Prince of Darkness, and unto one Purpose, even that the Seed of Jacob may be rooted out, and that the Way of Truth may not prosper, that then the Wicked may go on in their wickedness, without reproof, and ungodliness may be hid under hypocrisie; and above all other means, that is used at this day, to keep up the Kingdom of the Devil, and to offend the Kingdom of Christ; this is Cheif, striving against the Light of the World, opposing it, and denying it, and by crafty Arguments, and cunning Speeches, seeking sutable Scriptures, (as they suppose) to ground their false Arguments upon, against this very thing, that the Light of Christ is given to every man that comes into the World, or that the Light which convinceth and reproveth every man of sin within him, is not the Light of Christ, nor worthy to be taken notice of, but natural and such like, and no way sufficient to Life and Salvation; if the Unjust men persecute, it is such as walk in the Light of Christ Jesus, that cannot fulfill the wills and customs of men, and so are not of the World, but contrary to it in all its wayes and works which are evil; and if the wise men of the World make any Argument, it is against the Light, with which Christ lightneth every man that comes into the World; so that all the envy of the Devil, whether under this or that colour and appearance, is against the Light of Christ Jesus, and them that walk therein; and if the light be but denyed, and not believed in, nor regarded, then may the Devil have whole Possession of the heart of man; and if the Light of Christ Jesus within, be owned and loved, and walked in, then Christ is received, and there the Devil is dispossessed; and therefore it stands him upon, above all other things, to possess people against the Light within, which Christ hath given, that then he may not be discovered in the heart; but may keep all his goods in peace, and have quiet possession in his Habitation? Well, be it so, though all men of that Kingdom doth gainsay the Light of Christ, by this or that way of wickedness, yet it is precious unto us, and I cannot but earnestly contend for it, against all Gainsayers, and yet strives not for mastery to our selves, nor to exalt any thing of our selves, but only the Lord and his truth, which he hath made more dear to us, then either life, or name, or liberty; and though so it be, that this Way be spoken evil against every-where, yet the Lord owneth it, and us who are faithful therein in the presence of our Enemies, to the confounding of the wisdom of this World. And whereas John Bunion hath formerly set himself divers wayes to oppose the Truth under the account of his great zeal against Error; but especially in a Book sometime since put forth by him, thinking thereby to offend the Way of Righteousness; and now a second time hath appeared, with a defence upon his former, called A Vindication, &c.
Of the former and his Defence, is more to the laying open his folly, and to the uncovering of his blindness and wickedness, then his first offence given by him, which caused me to write in short four sheets of paper, to clear the Truth from what he had spoken against it.
And now having again a second time appeared in many words, without knowledge, yet in great zeal, hath brought forth many things reprovable, even Lyes and Slanders, and evil Speeches in abundance, yet with great pretence of holiness, and soberness; and he hath not only belyed me, but the Truth which is my chief, and moving cause, (that the Truth may be clear) of this my second Reply unto him; and not for my own sake in any thing; for I more prize to be accounted a fool, and dispraised in the World, then to be honoured thereby; and when iniquity shall come to an end, and transgression shall be finished, his shall be the Kingdom and the Inheritance of Rest Eternal, that hath kept himself clean and pure, from a lying and slanderous tongue, and who hath done righteously and fullfilled the Will of God, For it is not every one that saith Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the Kingdom, but he that doth the will of the Father which is in Heaven; and in that day when the Book of all Consciences shall be opened, and every thing brought to Judgement, then shall the Light in every ones Conscience answer the Lord in the justness of his dealings; and even then (if not before) shall this John Bunion know the Light in all mens Consciences is of force, when he shall be judged and then shall he see, he hath wronged the Lord, and dealt evil against his own soul, in speaking evil of what he hath not known, and in giving false judgement of what he hath not understood; and till that day I leave him (without praying for fire to devour him) only may reprove his Lyes Errors, Contradictions and False-dealing, and clear the Truth from his false Charges, and only to the most chiefest things whereof he accuses us, in short I may Reply.
|And whereas thou sayst, There is one that hath ventured to stand up against the Truth, and hath published a Book in which there is a great number of Heresies cunningly vented by him, and also many things there falsely Reported of thee, To which I answer, that same Book published, called, The true faith of the Gospel contended for, &c. Shall clear it self from this reproach, that I have not stood against any one truth, or uttered any Heresie or lye against thee; * but in that Book did witness forth the Truth against many things falsly laid down by thee against the Quakers, and that same Book with soberness read (without partiality and prejudice) doth clear it self from these false Aspersions, and prove thee a Lyer herein, and I leave it to the honest hearted to judge, who reads that Book, while I with patience, and not seeking any revenge, doe bear thy reproaches, counting them greater riches then thy praise.||* Several Lies and Slanders were proved against him in that Book, which he cannot clear himself of; mark that.|
And Farther thou saist, Only by the way thou thinkest good to mind me of my cloathing my self with the words of the Prophets and Apostles, &c.
|Answ. True enough, by the Way, out of the Truth, and out of Christ, who is the Way, hast thou spoken this, and so hast uttered in falsehood, and by, or out of the Way; neither have I cloathed my self, and yet am I clothed with the Life of the Prophets and Apostles, and not only with their words; nor do I fight against them (though thou falsly sayst it) but bears witness unto them; in Doctrine and Conversation, and against thee, and all the seed of Evil-doers; and take back thy own words to thy self, who art in that Generation, which hath the words, but are without the * Life, in the evil life.||* Lying perverting Scripture is an evil life;|
|Reply, what needest thou be troubled at this, have I not spoken the truth, and have I not said well herein? for you are joyned with all the wicked in the Nation, and as Lyars and Swearers and Drunkards, persecutes with violence; and as the proud and wanton are filled with scorning and singing wicked rimes in the streets, even so also are you come in Print, and all of you against them called Quakers; the Drunkards and Swearers they beat them, and abuse them, and cast them as for dead into Ditches, with stoning in the high wayes, and in the streets beating down with Staves; and the wanton they sing there rimes in scorn in Ale-houses, and Taverns against them; and thou and thy Fellowes and Generation appears in open Print, slandering and reviling them (yet in pretence of zeal for God) and all this you do against us, who have the witness that we are of God, and that the whole World Lyes in wickedness, and now are not you all joyned as an Army, and do you not shew your selves in the defence of the Dragon; * what wrong I have done you, let the upright in heart judge, whether I have given false testimony against you or no; and though you have noted it for a Lye in the Margent, yet the Lye is thy own, who hath gain-said the Truth herein, and called it a Lye; and I have dealt justly with thee, in the sight of God, and all that know him, and when the Book of thy Conscience is opened, thou shalt also confess to this thing, when thou standest condemned with them, with whom thou art now joyned against us; who have the testimony that we are of God, and worshippers of the Father in the Spirit and Truth, and my words were spoken by the Spirit of the Lord, and that in thy Conscience shall witness them, in the day of the Lord, though now thou opprobriously sayst, * they are flung into the wind. And whereas thou seemest to be greatly offended, that I should say part of the first Book is a Corrupted grain of Babylons treasure, &c.||* Lyers and Slanderers is of the Dragons party;|
* I said that desolate Zion is compassed about with enemies to make her a destruction, &c.
These are some of the words which he says flung into the wind.
But have not I spoken the Truth herein also, when I say, I have numbered up part of your work, and this is the sum thereof, that part which I have numbered, viz. your Lyes and false Reproaches against the Quakers, is a corrupted grain; yea, and of Babylons treasure too. I am not ashamed of my words, though thou wouldst defend your work by saying, Your discourse was of the Birth, Righteousness, Death, Blood, &c. And of the second coming of the Son of Mary, &c.
To which I say, these things, and the knowledge of them, by the Spirit of God, is not counted by me Corrupted, nor of Babylon, though now I answer, as in my last; the words I own, but thy voice I deny, and knows it to be the voice of the stranger; and for this saying, have I not, nor never shall have any burthen upon my Conscience, (though thou wouldst say it) but is cleared in the sight of God; even though I say all that thou speakest I deny, or thy speaking of any thing of the Kingdom of God, with thy lying spirit.
And whereas thou art offended, that I should say you are described to be the Flock of Ishmael, and of the seed of Cain, whose line reacheth to the murdering Priests, &c.
And thou sayst, I am very sensorious, and utterest many words without knowledge, &c.
Reply, Yea, your words doth describe your nature, for by your voice I know you, to be none of Christs sheep, and accordingly I judge, in just judgement, and in true knowledge, and doth not falsly sensure, nor utter words void of knowledge, and my words shall be witnessed by you in the day of the Lord: Envy is of Cains nature and seed, and in that you are; and Lyars are of Ishmaels stock, and you are guilty of that, let the sober Reader try; and you are among the murdering Priests party, and close joyned to them, in Doctrine and practise, especially in writing against us.
Now no wrong have I done you, that thou needest to be troubled, and seek to cover your selves by thy fair words in thy answer, as if you were righteous; but all will not hide you, your works make you manifest to be no less then what I have said of you.
Then farther thou art hot against me, in that I say, you are found Enemies to Christ, revealed in his Saints, and this thou hast noted it in the Margent for false, but thou dost not well to be angry; it is true, what I have spoken, thy own words do prove it, in saying there was nothing in thee, to be taken notice of; this was a denying of Christ within, and such as deny him are found Enemies to him within; So the Lye is thy own, who hast denyed Truth, let the wise Reader judge, and thy many words in a pretending Answer will not cover you from the guilt of what I have charged upon you, and not falsly; and what I have said hitherto is true, and not false, though thou feigningly say, Thou marvels I should be so overseen, as to utter so many false things in so little a space; nay, my understanding was open, when I wrot forth that Book, at which thou art so tormented, that it hath caused thee some Moneths travel in anguish to clear thy self, and yet cannot be at rest; and thou art over-seen who resists the reproof of thy Wickedness.
Then thou goest about to justife thy Brother Burtons words, who wickedly laid it down, as thou impudently goest to justifie it, who joyned in his Accusation, and slanders Quakers with Ranters; and this wouldst thou justifie we are one, against my just Answer, which denied them in the fourth page of my first; where I said, Between Quakers and Ranters there is no more union, &c. then betwixt Light and Darkness, Good and Evil; and that Answer stands untouched by thee, and is true; and in justifying John Burtons wicked Slander, thou art more wicked in comparing the Principles, and sayst, it will appear they agree in one, &c.
|But what a wicked course hast thou taken to clear him, by adding thy own wickedness; let all consider that reads: for doe not I desire in plainness in my first, in these words; if thou darest lay * the Charge only upon the Quakers, write in plainness, and bring testimony of thy accusation, and thou mayst receive a farther answer, but not a word in plain answer to this is returned, though soberly desired, neither time, nor place, nor witnesses evidenced to clear your selves of your first Slanders, which had been more honest, then to have slandered afresh, passing over your first; but it seems you cannot clear your selves in honesty, and so fulfill your wickedness by adding to your Lyes and Slanders, as thou impudently dost in thy comparing the principles of the Ranters with the Quakers.||* Viz. That the Quakers deny Christ to be a real Man: Secondly, that they fancy him to be God, manifest in their flesh: Thirdly, that they make his humane nature with the fulness of the Godhead, to be but a type of God: these things were charged upon us.|
|And to save thy brother from shame and guilt, thou art fallen thy self into the Snare, and justly may be judged, to exceed him in Wickedness; and thou sayst, (with shame to thy self, I repeat it) that the * Quakers will not own Christ without them, but thou brings not testimony of this Assertion; till then be thou reckoned, and shall be plauged for a Lyer, which will be forever, for we own him as he is ascended far above all Heavens, who fills all things; yea, and without us too: So that instead of proving the first false Accusation, thou adds another Slander, and the * second thing wherein thou comparest them, is unsound; for though we witness, (yea thousands) that we need no man to teach us, but as the anointing within us, as the Saints did 1 John, yet we cry not down the Ministry of God, but owns it, and cryes down such by whom people cannot come to the Knowledge of the Truth, though they be ever learning; who Preach for Hire, and goes for Gifts, and Rewards& loves the Wages of Unrighteousness;& this was the Apostles Doctrine as it was ours, and is no Heresie (though thou mayst so judge it) for we say by the same Spirit as the Apostles did, they that are of God heareth us who are in the Truth, which is but one, and there is not another; and the Apostles which witnessed the Saints needed no man to teach them, did exhort them; and yet did not condemn principles by practice.||* This is a lye;|
* That the Ranters and Quakers deny all teaching but the teaching within; and yet condemnes principle by practice.
Then thou goest on, and sayst, The Ranters are not for Baptism, and Breaking of Bread; and are not the Quakers the same? But what doth this prove; and thou sayst, the Ranters they would professe they are without sin; and how far short of this Opinion are the Quakers? and the Ranters would not own the Resurrection, &c. And how say you, Do you believe the very Bodies shall rise, &c.
Reply, Friend, this is far short of proving these things upon us, by querying them to us, let the Reader consider: But it may be impudency hath not so wholy eaten out honesty in thee, as that thou darest charge us wholy with these things, but would intrude into us by thy Questions, as though the thing were so indeed, but thou mayst be ashamed of thy work: Is this sufficient proof of evil against us, to ask us whether it be so? what hast thou proved in all this against us (if we were guilty) thinkest thou we will accuse our selves? this is absurdity, and wickedness in thee, falsly to charge us, and to bring no better evidence, but thy bare words; and as we deny the Ranters, so do we thee, and sees you both to be Enemies to the Life of God:
|But thy last and chief proof (as thou thinkest) that we are one, is, that the Ranters are Sinners, and the Quakers are Lyers; the first I will not vindicate, but this last is disputable, and thy proof of it is first, thou sayst, from what thou hast said already, to some pages of my first Book, to which I have Replyed, and leaves it to the Reader; only doth say, thou hast not yet proved one Lye against me in the sight of God nor men; thou art the Lyer if thou say thou hast, and honest men shall be judge betwixt us: And thy second proof is more to the discovering thy ignorance then yet hath been: And to clear thy self from my * charge against thee (viz) to be a wrester of the Scripture, which yet I stand to, thou art faln into grievous error: my first charge is true upon thee, that thou perverted or wrested that Scripture; Rev. 13.18. in saying the Lamb was slain before the Foundation of the World; for that Scripture saith since, or from the Foundation of the World; hast thou no more sence? art thou and all thy company so ignorant that you know not betwixt before and since a time? how are you blinded? and yet persists in your wickedness, and will not be reproved; therefore this is a double iniquity in thee, to thy shame remember it; for I have said true, though thou understand it not, * there is as much difference, betwixt before, and since, in that thing, as betwixt a Lye and Truth; for to say the blood was shed before the Foundation of the World, as thou didst, is a very Lye; but to say it was shed since, or from, is truth, and that Scripture is truth, Rev. 13.||* In my first Book.|
* in my first Book I said,
|And thou art the Lyar, and Wrester of it, and I have not wronged thee in my first, though thou impudently and ignorantly wouldst clear thy self, and lay iniquity upon me: But further to clear thy self, thou sayst, thou said, in Gods account it was shed, before the World was: and this is little less then Blasphemy, what, is God a Hypocrite, like thy self? to account that for Truth, which is a Lye, as I have proved; O horrid error and perfect blindness! but this will not cover thee, nor thy shame, from the eye of men; where is thy Proof for such a Doctrine, that God accounts that which is a Lye, for Truth? largely is manifest thy folly; Repent, if thy heart be not void of shame, for what thou hast spoken herein; and let the Reader understand this difference; thou sayst the Blood of Christ, was shed before the Foundation of the World, according to that Scripture, Rev. 13. I say thou perverts the Scripture, and lyest grosly in the main thing it self; and saith it is * since, or from the Foundation of the World; let the honest judge; and now it is seen the Lye rests upon thy own Head, who wrests the Scripture; and belyes the Lord, and me, and goes on in thy wickedness after reproof, and take thou the Ranters, they are thy Companions, in lying, and sinning, and not ours.||Read the Scriptures and mark the sence; betwixt before, and from.|
|And further thou art offended that I should say, and would fain reckon it for a Lye, that all thy work is a secret smiteing, and an obscure shooting against the manifestation of Christ within, which words I own to be truth concerning thee, and am not ashamed of them, though thou say, I say falsly, and when the Book of thy Conscience is opened, thou shalt confess it; only I leave * this to be considered seriously, and judged by them who are spiritual, and they shall be my Witnesses; and the Lye is of thee and thy Father, whose wickedness is sufficiently seen by what is said, if I should say no more: Again thou sayst it is an untruth of thee, to say thou art one of those that do preach for Hire, through Covetousness making merchandize of Souls; my words are not so laid down, thou hast wrested them for thy purpose, though it availes nothing: but I said, thou art in their steps, that through covetousness, with fained words, makes merchandize of Souls, and thou art found among them that preaches for Hire; and I have spoken the truth herein, let the Light in all Consciences judge, who are not seared in many things; I might instance that thou art in their steps, and among them that act such things, as further may be proved, and the wisdom of God so fore-saw, to keep me clear, and my words to be defended; though I expected no less from thee, as to this thing, then is come to pass, but the Lye is of thy self, who would deny the * Truth: The next thing that thou wilt charge upon to be a Lye, I pass here, the Reader may expect it in its place; and though thou sayst, the Ranters and I, and my Fellows are of the same mind in many things, &c.||* viz. that which you said; there
was nothing in any men to be taken notice of; this is a denying of him within.|
* the truth is he is in their steps, and among them.
To which I Reply, Their practices I deny, and the ground in which they stand, and their false doctrines; yet dare we not deny any truth as it is in Christ; though they, as thou mayst, profess it in words, which is seldom they do, for we have respect unto the Truth, for the truths sake only; but how unchariable art thou in thy measure and judgement, consider, as if he should say, John Bunion is of the same mind with the Pope in many things; the Pope holds Christ was born of Mary, and was crucified, and raised again, and ascended, &c. And this holds J. Bunion, and is of the same minde with the Pope in many things; and therefore must partake of the same plagues with the Pope, as thou said of us; though thou hast by unequal measure thus judged us, yet I render not evil for evil, but in love to thy soul, shews thee thy folly and weakness.
|Then thou goest on having * passed by the two slanders cast upon us, by J. Burton, in your first Book, which I charged you withall in mine, to which not one word as to evidence your slanders, but hath slipped it over, as a foul guilty man, which charge stands upon you both; that you are Slanderers herein, and my first answer I am not ashamed of, though you snarle much about it, and would taint it, or undermine it: but thy subtilty is to weak, Truth confounds thee and thy simple policy, which is, that we prize the Lord Jesus Christ, God man, to be precious unto us, and hath owned him alone to be the Foundation whom God hath laid, and in his Light we are saved, &c.||* viz. that the Quakers undervalues the Lord Jesus, and doth not lay him for their foundation.|
As I said in Page 7. against which words thou canst not justly except, nor yet prove the contrary; and yet as a man that loves to hear thy own tongue, thou lays down many things impertinent as to the cause in hand.
But it had been more honest to have helped thy brother Burton, from under my true Charge, and cleared the Truth, if thou hadst been able; but thou hast left him in the dirt under the Charge of a Slanderer; and are unfaithfull to him, and goes about to inquire what it is (as thou sayst) to lay Christ for a Foundation; thou confesses what I have said is fairly spoken, and yet thy envious minde, and unbelieving heart seems to be offended at my words; and to them that can believe I speak plainly, and doth not beg thy belief, nor any mans, but commends my self to every mans Conscience in the sight of God, and knows no other Jesus nor Saviour, nor Foundation, then he that John was sent to prepare the Way before, who was, and is, and is to come; who said, I am the light of the World, and now my words are defended to be truth in the sight of them that are spiritual; and thou, and such may hear, but must not understand, who have hardened your hearts, least you should believe, and therefore is given up to Gainsayings, till the Wrath of God break out against you; and let John Burton remember my words, where I said he is fallen into the pit which he digged for another, and he undervalues the Lord Jesus, whose Doctrine is to speak Truth, but he hath lyed and slandered, and so is out of Christ the Foundation, and undervalues him, who keeps not his sayings, but is a Worker in Darkness, and not in the Light: And as to that where I say, thus much is the mind of the Penmans spirit, (of the first Epistle, of the first Book) secretly smiting at the Doctrine of true Faith and Salvation (to wit) Christ within, I have said the truth in righteousness, and do own my words, though thou sayst I have done him a great deal of wrong, &c.
But I leave it to be judged by them that are spiritual, and not unto thee, to give false meaning of my words; and doth not he say in that Epistle of some that have been depending too much upon some thing they call Christ, and the Righteousness of Christ within them, &c.
Let the wise in heart judge, whether this be not as I have said, even a secret smiting against Christ within, without which as I have said, there can be no Salvation, for he that hath not Christ in him, is a Reprobate; and this I speak, not in opposition, but as a testimony of Christ Jesus, that dyed, and rose again, and ascended, who is within, and without also; and if any preach another Jesus, let him be accursed; and repent thou, who art in the wrong doing thy self, falsly charging me; noting in the Margent, with speaking falsly, when I spake the truth; and the false speaking rests at thy door, and is driven thither with the power of truth.
|Then whereas thou wouldst justifie thy former wickedness, in charging the Quakers to be Deceivers, against my just Answer * in page 8. of mine; which stands free from any of thy vain Arguments, and uncontroled; though resisted; but it appears my words sticks close unto thee, and torments thee; and thou sayst, with much impudent confidence, it will easily appeare that we are Deceivers; but thy Arguments we shall try.||* The children of God were ever counted Deceivers by this Generation, but the way which he called delusion do we worship, the true God, &c.|
And (sayst thou) First, the Quakers deny the man Christ Jesus without them, and own Christ no otherways but as he is within, &c.
Reply, How impudent art thou in forging Lye after Lye, and building them up in thy Work one upon another, and a wicked course thou takes to clear thy former Slanders, truly charged upon thee in my first, even by laying another upon it.
Friend, By this thy deceitful Slander, while thou hast thought to prove us Deceivers hath proved thy self one, even a false Accuser; mayst thou not blush to say we own Christ no otherwayes, then as he is within? we own him which was, is, and is to come, who is within us, and without us, as I have said in my first, we own him as the Scripture speaks of him; and it is known to the Lord, and in his sight we are approved, whether thou believe it or not; for I beg not beleif of thee, but leaves thy double Slanders to be read, and judged of by all honest people, and in the interim, know it is a bad way to prove us Deceivers by thy Lyes, this the rather is a Witness to us that we are of God, and against thee, and thou to be of the Devil, who was a Lyer from the beginning, and as his Child succeeds him; in lying.
Thy second proof is, That we are Deceivers, because (sayst thou) We do perswade souls that Christ is crucified in them, dead within them, kept down with something within them, which was never taught by them that spoke the Scriptures, &c.
|Reply, These words are falsly laid down, but what thinkest thou of such who might crucifie to themselves * afresh the Son of God, and put him to open shame, as it is written; this they could not do, above Stars, they being men upon the Earth; and Christ was sent to preach to the Spirits in Prison, he that can read let him understand, this Doctrine was preached by them that spoke forth the Scriptures, who had the Spirit of God; but in blindness I find thee, and I think so I must leave thee: and though I do not feed the Serpent, yet my words are plain to him that hath an understanding, and an ear open; and Deceiver belongs to thee, and at thy door it lyes, and thou canst not remove it.||* Or in themselves.|
Farther (thou sayst) We perswade souls that that man, that was born of the Virgin Mary, is not above the Clouds, and the Stars, when as the Scripture saith a Cloud received him out of their sight.
Reply, This is another Lye, uttered without fear or knowledge, or honesty, we do not perswade souls to believe any such thing; but bears witness to the truth of that Scripture, that a Cloud received him out of their sight, and we say he is out of their sight and must appear again in sight; and this is a wicked way of thee, to prove us Deceivers, by slandering us, adding more to thy own sin; and the more will be thy burthen, in the day of the Lord, when Plagues and Torment are thy portion, from which thou shalt not flye, though now thou be above shame.
Farther, (sayst thou) We perswade souls not to believe that that man that was crucified, and rose again, &c. Shall so come again to Judgment, as he went away; and shall raise up men and women out of their Graves, and cause them to come into the Valley of Jehoshaphat; thou sayst we strive to beat souls off from believing this, &c.
Reply, O how swiftly thy lying Tongue runs without fear, as though neither God nor man took notice of thee, or that ever thou shouldst be called to question for them; many Lyes together thou hast here foulded up in one; thy Lyes I deny, and this to be one; hast thou set thy self to tell Lyes! O abominable wickedness, mayst thou not tremble? when thou considers what thou falsly sayst of us, contrary to my words, who said in the truth of my heart, we own him to be what the Scripture speaks of him, and not otherwise? it seems thou cannot believe when I speak truth; I number up thy Lyes, and returns them back to thee to read; and by all this is it not true, that thou art of the same spirit with thy fellow, and abound more in Lyes? as I said in my first; his was but about three, thine manifold more; but thy Lyes are no testimony against us, that we are Deceivers, but they shall lie heavy upon thee at one day, when we shall be clear: For in the affirmive.
I further say, that, that Christ Jesus that was crucified, and rose again, shall come (as he went away) to Judgement, and the dead shall be raised, and every man shall receive according to their deeds; and he shall set to judge the Heathen round about, according to Joel 3. and thy portion in that day shall be Howling and Gnashing of Teeth; for the Lyars Portion is the Lake.
Thou sayst again, the Quakers make no difference between that Light, wherewith Christ, as he is God hath enlightned all, and the Spirit of Christ he gives not to all.
Reply, I put thee to prove that they are contrary or divided one against the other; for thus Christ saith, I will send you the Comforter even the Spirit of Truth, which must needs be the Spirit of Christ, and he shall reprove or convince the World of sin, and of righteousness; now mark that same Spirit of the Father, and of the Son, who is the Comforter of the Saints is the same, and not another, that doth reprove the World; he that can read, let him understand, the World cannot receive the Comforter, yet have they given to them, that which doth reprove them; which is with the Light of Christ Jesus, of the same, and not contrary, nor divided; if thou hast an ear, thou mayst hear; the Error is in thy self, who art without understanding.
Further, thou sayst, They say that every one hath that which is like the Spirit of Christ, even as God, as the Spirit of Christ; which thou sayst is desperate blasphemy, and cryes out with an out-cry, O wonderfull deceit! &c.
Reply, I would have all to take notice, that thou hast wronged my words, in wresting of them for thy wicked purpose, to have a ground of slander, there is no such words in the tenth Page of my Book, which thou quotest, but in one place; I say, till thou prove the Light of Christ, John 1.9. (which thou confesses every man hath) to be contrary to the Spirit of Christ, (Mark) I shall say every man hath that which is one in union, and like the Spirit of Christ, even as good as the Spirit of Christ, according to its measure; these words I must own.
|But let the sober Reader take notice, how fouly thou hast wronged my words, * leaving out the strength of them, to take occasion of slander; when thou hadst proved the Light of Christ (which in John 1.9. is spoken of) to be contrary to the Spirit of Christ, then had been a better season, for this charge against me.||* Till he could prove the light, John 1.9. to be contrary to the Spirit of Christ, when he proves this, I may shut my mouth.|
|O thou impudent and shameless man! so unjustly to deal against the upright, who envies thee not, but pitties thee; therefore when thou, or any man can prove the Light of Christ spoken of John 1.9. and John 8.12. to be contrary to the Spirit of Christ, then I may own the Judgment and charge upon me; but till then thou art proved a Lyar; for the Light of Christ spoken of John 1.9. that Light is one in union, and not contrary, and is of the likeness of the Spirit of Christ, and as * good in its measure; and these words I stand to, to vindicate against all thy Lyes, and wresting of words, and out-cryes, who is an unfit fellow to judge what Blasphemy is, who art so blind, that thou knowest not the difference of words, betwixt before, and from, as I have shewed:||* The Witness is as good as the Judge; in measure.|
Repent, If so be thou may find mercy.
Then further thou sayst, to cover my self, and deceit, I do apply, that which should be to the children of God, &c. And yet cannot reprehend my answer, which is just and faithful, that the Children of God were always counted Deceivers, and this is true, as thy self confesses, but wickedly saith in thy answer, and most lyingly too, and blasphemy is falen out of thy mouth; The Devil knowes how to take Childrens bread, and cast it to Doggs.
Reply, Now let all consider what thou hast said, Christ Jesus is the Bread of Life that came down from Heaven, the Childrens Bread, and they have no other; Now the Devil cannot take Christ Jesus, who only is the Childrens Bread, and give him to Doggs; O horrid! canst thou behold this, and not be smitten to the heart, what wickedness and ignorance lodges in that heart that can utter these things; Though thou thinkst, thou hast done bravely in thus saying, yet the Wisedom of God turns thy words upon thy own head into confusion and grievous error, I deny it though thou affirm it; that the Devil can take, or knows how to take Christ Jesus, and give him to Doggs.
Further thou sayst, I am grieved, that thou shouldest say none but a Company of Notionist and Ranters, &c. are carried with the Quakers, &c. and sayst thou, this appears in all mens sight, &c.
|Reply, Thou art a Lyar, I am not greived at thy Slanders and wicked Reproaches; but rather rejoyces therein, that I am one worthy to bear them; and all men that can see, sees a false Accuser herein: For such who have feared the Lord, and served him, and are, and have been honest and upright to God and man, have owned us, and have been neither Ranters, nor such like; and we rejoyce, if any that hath been so, be turned from it unto God, to live in Righteousness, though thou note it for a false thing in the margent. (But to make it appear false thou hast corrupted my words) which are, Though some of all sorts of people be brought to God, yet thou * seems to be offended herewith; and these my words are true upon thy head, for I ask, notwithstanding some were such, are they such who are in wickedness since they owned us? then why dost thou wickedly (as though thou wert offended at it) upbraid us, that such, or such are carried away with us, as though none else; which is thy Lye uttered in thy hastiness.||* The words seems to be are left out, by him, which carrie the strength of my words.|
And whereas thou art offended, (thou sayst) that I should say, thou art like the Pharisees; whether I spoke so or no, however, I own that thou art like them (at least) even one among them.
|As further I shall manifest; then thou hast over-leapt (with a false excuse of passing by many railings as thou sayst) which it seems troubles thee that I should truly * charge thee to bring forth Lyes without fear; and that the Ranters and light Notionists, and thee we deny, till you turn to the Lord by repentance; and if you turn from your iniquity we dare not deny you.||* In my first Book.|
And further I truly charge thee, that thou art puft up in thy Lyes and Slanders; and advanceth thy self above the Innocent, who exceeds thee in Faith towards God, and in good works towards man, and whose conversation is in heaven, but thine is among the Hirelings, &c. And this thou hast skipped over, as a deceitful Child, with a poor excuse, which thou mayst be ashamed to call these railings; but that thy heart is void of shame, let the sober Reader judge else; then thou saist I stumble at that, wherein in thy first thou sayst, The Devil perswades these men to believe.
First, That salvation was not compleatly wrought out for Sinners by the man Christ Jesus, &c.
Reply, Here thou art a Lyar again; I stumble not, for I walk in the Light, and doth not stumble; but I reproved thy Lye, and Slander, and said, this Accusation is clearly false, wickedly cast upon us; for there is no Salvation in any other, neither is it wrought by any other, but by Jesus Christ, &c. As page the ninth of my first may be read; but thou hast not at all removed, the true charge against thee, that I charged upon thee, upon these words (viz) a Believer of Lyes, a Slanderer, a false Accuser, which stands true upon thee still, and will for ever, till thou remove it by repentance; for thou canst never clear thy self any otherways; and thou sayst, I have left some words out, but this is but a poor catch; for do I not make an Et cættera at the end of thy words? and if thou wert not too ignorant, thou mightest understand that which follows is included and conjoyned.
Then thou goest on, and sayst, I am offended that thou shouldst say the Devil deceives souls, by bidding them follow the Light that they brought into the World with them, telling them, that will lead into the Kingdom &c.
|Now my answer to this is sober, and just, * as will appear, though thou sayst vainly, I seem to be gravelled, because I informed thy mistake; who said, pervertingly, either in subtilty, or for want of wit, the light which they brought into the World with them; when as the Scripture saith, Christ is the Light which lighteth every man that comes into the World, Joh. 1.9. which Light, as I did, I do affirm, will lead into the Kingdom of peace and rest; and deny it if thou canst; for the Light of Christ, doth reveal Christ, and the Light lighteth every man that cometh into the world; then thou heaps up many words, though thou falsly sayst, I corrupt that Scripture Joh. 8. yet I lay it down in its own words, and say, that is, or was the true Light, that lights every man that comes into the World, and that Light (which hath so done) will lead all that believes into the Kingdom, for Christ said I am the Light of the World; and though thou ignorantly wouldst seem to say this is error; yet I affirm it, that he, the same which saith, I am the Light of the World, is he, and no other, which lighteth every man that comes into the World, and this I suppose thou wilt call a filthy error; but the filthiness is in thy own heart, and error too, through ignorance of the knowledge of the things of God, who wouldst fain (if thou could) make it appear, that that Christ which lighteth every man that comes into the World, John 1.9. is not the same that saith I am the Light of the World, John 8.12. Thy confused words seems to carry this meaning; let the Reader judge, whether that be not the same Christ Jesus, which John speaks of; John 1.9. as it is written of John 8.12. and though thou ignorantly sayst I would have room to broach my folly, yet thou lets out of thy vesel in sides of leaves, of Lyes and Slanders and Folly; and thou sayst, when he said, I am the Light of the World, he was without, he did not mean any light within, and thou presumptuously bids me deny this if I can; to which I say, the same Christ, which said, I am the Light of the World, was he which was before Abraham, who was a Light to the Gentiles, and lighteth every man in the World; yea, he was and is given to be a Light, where his person (which was supposed the son of Joseph) never came, and do thou deny this if thou canst, that all men may see thy Folly; for there is not many Christs, but one Christ, which is not only within, but without, not only without, but within, but is all and in all; let him that reads understand.||* Page 10. of my first.|
Then thou sayst, the Light wherewith Christ, as he is God, lighted every one, is the Soul of man, which is the Life of the Body, and is a Creature, and hath one faculty of its own Nature called Conscience.
Reply, Now lets try this Doctrine, and consider what thou hast said, it amounts to thus much, that Conscience is of the nature of the Soul of man, and the soul is the Light of Christ, as God.
Therefore thou hast said that the Conscience is the Light of God which must needs be without sin; this is more then I have or dare say, I might here fitly ask thee, if thou knowst what the word Conscience signifies in true understanding; and yet though thou hast uttered this, that Conscience is a Faculty of the soul, which thou sayst is the Light of Christ, as God, which Light of God must needs be of the nature of God pure, and not impure; yet in the next page thou sayst, Conscience is a poor Dunghill Creature in comparison of the Spirit, &c. and in another page calls Conscience poor, low empty beggerly things, &c.
What now John Bunion; is that which thou hast concluded to be the Light of God, but a dunghill-Creature, and low, and empty, and beggerly in comparison &c. For shame cease such Divinity, lest all thy Fellows reprove thee; O how doth thy ignorant zeal lead thee into Snares, and trape thy own feet. And to confound thy self, thou sayst, Conscience, which thou sayst is the Light of God, is Nature it self; then it must needs be that every mans nature (which is sinful say I) is the Light of God; O what horrible Doctrine this proves in its explanation!
Blush, and be ashamed when thou considers; then thou cries out in reproof, O wonderful, sayst thou, That men should make a God, and Christ of their Consciences! I know none that doth it, nor that ever spoke so highly of Conscience, as thou hast here done; yet we say our Conscience bears us witness in the holy Ghost; and this is our rejoycing, the testimony of our Consciences; and if our Consciences condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God; and yet makes not God and Christ of our Conscience, as thou secretly wouldst charge us withall: Then thou goest on, and wouldst seem to prove, but canst not, that somthing besides the Light of Christ convinceth of sin; but thy reach is too short, though thou wind abroad, and lets thy thoughts into the pit of thy own reason, to bring up a thing to confound Truth, but cannot; for this is thy proof, where they were all convinced by their own Consciences John 8. Now all these I say were men come into the World, and therefore according to John 1.9. were lighted with the Light of Christ, and thou hast confessed that Conscience is the Light of Christ, as God; which is no less then I have affirmed, then wherefore hast thou waded so farr, when at the end thou art forced to confess my position, thy words being explained, that it is the Light of Christ that doth convince of sin, and can find no other thing besides that; then thou sayst, here is something besides the Spirit of Christ that doth convince of sin &c.
But yet I say, nothing besides the Light of Christ, as thou hast confessed, and that was only that which I affirmed in the tenth page of mine, about which thou hast made all this stir, and to no purpose, (as to prove any thing convinceth of sin but the Light of Christ) and in that I said, he that convinceth of sin against the Law, leads up into the fulfilling of the Law, which still I own, though thou wouldst contradict it, but canst not; and I clearly see thou hast not reached the understanding of my words, but answered thy own conceiving, and not my words; for I do not say, or think that righteousness comes by the Law, yet that is righteousness, which condemneth that which breaks the Law; if thou hast an ear thou mayst hear; and as I said it is the Word of Truth, the Righteousness of the Law must needs be fulfilled in Judgment, upon you all, and by Christ Jesus in you, if ever you receive the Salvation to your Souls; and thou hast not yet learned what I mean, and though thou sayst, that for justification, thou lookst beyond the Law, to the Son of Mary; but I say thou must not look beyond it for condemnation, who art in transgression, and not reconciled to God, through condemnation in the flesh, for it will reach you to condemnation; and thou sayst Thou understandst that I do, in all my discourse disown Christ without, by pretending to a Christ within; To which I say, thy understanding deceives thee, who, it may be feared, blinds thy own eyes; that thy Conscience may not condemn thee for slandering, but while I am approved in the sight of God, of those things whereof thou accusest me falsly, and wickedly; I matter nothing what a Lyers Judgements is of me, my Answer to thy 6 Query shall prove me clear, and thee a Lyer herein, that we own Gods Christ as the Scripture declares of him, as I have said, and the darkness of my words is to blind the eye of subtilty, and not to deceive the hearts of the simple (though thou wouldst say it) see if thou now canst tell what I say.
And whereas thou art offended, that I say, many more things in thy Book I pass by, as being not pertinent to the thing in hand; my words are true, for the thing in hand was proving us Deceivers, and that was the most of which I medled withal, or purposed to oppose; and to other things that thou speakest of in short, my answer was, and is the words (or of some of them) I own, and thy voice I deny, without any blaspheming or error, in the view of all the World (though thou wouldst say it) for whatsoever a lying spirit speaks, I deny it to be the voice of Christ, though it may be some of his words; and thy spirit is a lying spirit: And though thou art offended that I should say Fools loves to be medling, yet its true enough, is not he a Fool who is a Lyer and a Slanderer, that understands not betwixt before a time, and since a time, judge in thy own Conscience; and thy fair words, as that it must needs be (sayst thou) That the Saints of God must be called Fools, &c.; I say, never presume the name of Saint, but clear thy self of thy Lyes and Slanders, and perverting Scriptures, and learn the First principle of Religion; Even that which Condemns thee.
And as to that which I say is true, that the Pope can speak as much of Christ without as thou, I own it, and may add; I believe he can speak more then thou of Christ without, and with as good, or better understanding; though both a like far from the Kingdom of God; yet in thy Answer, thou askest me, if I put no difference betwixt the speaking of; and beleeving in Christ without; Yea, I do a great deal, for he that believes in him, hath the Witness in himself of him, and his heart is purifyed, and he is a new Creature, which thou art not, but thou I suppose wouldst be reckoned a Believer; nay, for I think the Pope hath both more words, and more good works, and makes as much Conscience of lying and false accusing as thou, for ought as may be understood, of a tree by the fruits, which is our way to judge, as Christ hath given us example; then in that I said thou hast answered thy self a question deceitful, thou art offended, and boasts thy self against me, Charging me to be an Enemy to the truth, and the like, in that I did not manifest thy deceit; but now I shall therefore, to stop thy proud boasts in that answer, thou calls it a sad doctrine which saith, follow the Light which Christ hath enlightned every man withall, and other such like things following that question, which are deceitful, and wicked, and thou thereby art proved the Enemy to truth thy self, and thou and thy words are both deceitful; and therefore boast not thy self: Then thou answers my Question, which was, doth not the Scripture witness that all who have not Christ are Reprobates? the Question is sound, and of worth to be noted, and in thy answer thou sayst, yes it is true, to which I soberly Reply, then what a conditiion are all in, that hath not Christ within, nor no knowledge of him, but what they have of him as he is without, by the letter without, do thou consider this; and whether it be not of the chiefest prize to Life and Salvation, to wait for him, and seek for him within, seeing all that have not him within are Reprobates.
But farther thou wouldst seem to manifest a great deal of folly in me, when all the folly lies in thy own bosome, and by thy confused words, I understand thou groundst thy Answer upon a lye, and false understanding, and therefrom bringst the false reproof, as if I should hold forth that every man hath received Christ, or the Spirit of Christ in him.
This I have never said, but that every man hath the Light of Christ given him which I say is one in union, with the Spirit of Christ; and I say Christ is given to all, but all receives him not; and I see thou understands not my former words that I write in answer to one of thy Queries, thou canst not distinguish betwixt a thing being given of God, and a thing being received by man, so that the folly is fallen back on thee, take it, who understands not my words, but opposes thy own conceivings, and false understanding; and though I might more truly apply this word folly in that extent, then thou applyed the like word to thy self in this same page, yet I leave it to the judgement of the serious Reader, and say, thy folly is want of wit in the World, and not for Christs sake: Then thou wouldst defend thy first wickedness, in that thou saidst the Devil deceives Souls, by perswading them to follow the Light within, which all men have; but my answer to it thou hast not reached, in that I said, he that comes to Life eternal must follow the Light within which Christ hath given, which stands over thy head for ever to be truth; but yet how blind art thou in confessing the Light within, even Conscience to be the Light of Christ as God, and yet sayst, the Devil deceives souls by bidding follow the Light within.
O abominable doctrine! what doth the Devil deceive souls by bidding follow the Light of Christ as God? so John Bunion's doctrine is; let it be noted: now see thou thy folly how it is manifest, and thy pittiful evasions are weighed, instead of contradicting my former sufficient answer, which thou could no way reach to wrest, or otherwise to answer it, askes a question, which I may answer as soon as thou hast sufficiently replyed to my former answer, and this is in part an answer to it; it is heresie to say, that the Light of God (any light of God or Christ) can or doth deceive the Soul; and though thou stumble at it, I said well in saying, that thy whole purpose is a secret smiting against the Light within, let the Reader judge.
And now to manifest thy ignorance fully; thou hast confessed the Light within even Conscience is the Light of God; hast not thou cause to repent of these absurdities and blindness, who holds forth, that the Devil deceives Souls by the Light of God, seeing thou canst find no Light within man, but that which thou confessest is the Light of God.
Then thou sayes, Thy whole design was first to shew Souls where Salvation is to be had, namely in Christ without, and yet hath confessed, all that hath him not within are Reprobates, and such have not salvation, by him without; Consider therefore, without Christ within no Salvation, as I have said, and thou hast confessed it, (Mark it) then to clear thy self from contradiction, which I charged thee with, thou wouldst cast a confusion upon me, in that thou says, I would make a defiled Conscience, the Law and Spirit of Christ to be all one; This is falsly spoken, I have never said, nor thought, that a defiled Conscience is the Law and Spirit of Christ, a Lyer thou art to be noted, and this Lye adds to the number; and yet consider thou hast said (several times) that Conscience is the Light of Christ, as God; and now calls Conscience defiled; Is the Light of God defiled? John Bunion, saith so; O horrid! read thou thy confusion, and grievous Error, which is brought to thy Door, and there I leave it; thou mayst Blush, and all thy Witnesses at this; and in that thou callst my Answer Scoulding, against thy Epistle, and presumptuously sayst, The truth of which thou couldst be willing to seal with thy Blood.
Reply, Scoulding I deny, but I have reproved thy Lyes in the Authority of the Lord, and be not so proudly puft up in boasting: what sayst thou? shall thy Blood go for this, that the Quakers are Deceivers, and that the Devil deceives Souls, by bidding them follow the Light within, which thou sayst is Conscience, which thou confesses is the Light of God, and that the Blood of Christ was shed before the World was, and that the Scripture say so, and that we deny that Salvation was compleatly wrought by the man Christ Jesus, with several other things noted for Lyes; what sayst thou John Bunnion? art thou so desparte as that thou wilt hazard thy Blood upon this account? if it be so, sure the Devil hath great power over thee; cease thy boasting lest the Lord make thee an Example, and though thou wouldst exhort me, thy spirit I deny, and so thy words I judge, and cannot receive good from an evil Spirit: